Kev in Aus

Chronicling the misadventures of a Canadian traveling through Australia. There's seemingly far too many of us!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's My Name??

Thanks for the comments on my last post folks. I know it sounds like I'm whining or what have you, but that's not my intention. Really, I'm very proud to be Canadian, but as someone said, once you've lived somewhere else, you see the cracks in the armour, as it were. It's still something I've been trying to work on since I've been home, but so far, unsuccessfully. But I digress...

As I was working a little while ago, a kid popped in with a resume, and handed it to me, all non-chalant (as kids often do). Of course, being the responsible person I am, I asked him the usual questions: What area do you want to work in, are you looking for full time, etc. After chatting with him for a few moments, i looked at his resume...

He had the same name as me....

Like, exact same name. Of course, I wouldn`t consider my name to be very unique (any quick look on Facebook shows over 300) but to actually come face to face with a person with my name was a little jarring. I literally blinked at him and asked word for word, "Is your name really Kevin Lambert or are you playing a prank on me?" Of course, he had no clue why I was asking that, I told him that it's also my name, and that he couldn't get a job here because we can't have 2 people with the same name working here. Too bad, we could have changed the name of the pub to the Kevin Lambert Club or something equally ridiculous. i should have asked him his middle name, in retrospect.

Suffice to say, he was not hired.

So work is getting busier, which is good, but I'm still trying to find someplace a little closer to home. Having to take 3 buses and the train to work sucks when I start in the morning. I have a couple options I'm looking into and 1 job which I'm pretty sure I was put on this planet specifically to do. I'm not going to say where it is, however, since I don't want to jinx it. Let's just say it plays to all my strengths and loves. (No, it's not the village drunk/idiot. I've applied, and I'm way overqualified)

I will be heading to Winnipeg in the next little bit, which could be in the next couple weeks. My roommate has to drive a queen sized mattress to Regina and we may just take the extra drive to Winnipeg, since he's never been there. One of our friends is moving back there at the end of June so we'll go meet her, and I can introduce him to all my zany friends as well. Once we know for sure, I'll be making phone calls, sending Facebook messages, and updating the sexual offender registry to let people know.

I would also like to say Congratulations!! to Jenn for having her bouncy baby boy (from what I recall, Jenn's family is 1/4 Vulcanized rubber).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

6 Months Later....

Well folks, it's 6 months after my last post (7 1/2 months since I've been back in Canada) and I'm pretty miserable. It's not just that things are different than Australia, but mostly that I just don't like it here. Maybe it's Calgary (I've since made the decision that it's an incredibly unattractive city) or maybe it's that I just went through winter again, but I'm just fed up with everything here. I've got a few options to get me out of here, but I can't really exercise those options because I'm working 2 shifts a week making barely enough money to support myself, let alone do anything about my situation (ie. go to school, move somewhere else where jobs are available, do more travelling, etc) and I'm so frustrated that I don't know what to do.

One thing I've noticed since I've been back is it's very hard to make new friends in this country. I've been working in a pub for 6 months, and I barely talk to anyone I work with outside of work. I chalk it up to the fact that everyone I work with already has their established circle of friends, so they don't feel the need to make new ones or hang out with anyone they don't know. The reality could simply be that I'm the weird old guy behind the bar. Who knows? In Oz (anywhere I worked, Sydney, Airlie, Brisbane) I pretty much hung out with everyone I worked with within the first week. Did the accent help? Likely, but I like to think it's because Aussies are far more open to newcomers than we in Canada are.

Another thing I found is that, while we Canadians like to think we're polite, it's really just because we're a bunch of passive aggresive assholes who don't like direct confrontation. Of course, that IS a generalization, but I've found it to be true more often than not. Example: Right now, our gas has been turned off because the landlord hasn't paid the bill. It's been off for the last couple days, so we've gone without hot water or heat in our place (fact: Calgary, and I believe most of Canada, has been unseasonably cold this week, with the temp today a balmy 5 degrees Calcius). Now, I don't have our landlord's phone number, but my roommate has texted him asking when it's going to be turned on, and we've gotten the answer that it will be tomorrow. Of course, being Canadians, we've been nice about it (sorry to bother you, but when can we get our gas turned on), but I feel it's OK to be pissed off, and it's OK to tell the landlord that this is bulls*** and we need to have it turned on right away or we won't pay the rent. but we'll just go along with it, and, in our typical fashion, we'll just leave the house a mess when we leave, or pay the rent a day or 2 late or something equally lame.

While travelling, I met so many people who just said what they want, or what they felt, and something occured to me. I respect those people far more than if they had simply been polite and let things go. Another example, I went out to a restaurant here a while ago, and the person I was with ordered a Caeser with no tobasco and just a little worcestershire. It arrived, of course, with tobasco and quite a bit of worcestershire. But instead of sending it back, or just telling the waitress, they simply said, "Oh, it's OK, I'll drink it anyways." Well, I sent it back and watched the bartender make it, just to make sure it was made the way that they wanted it.

But here's the thing, we're in such a 'for the moment' society, we don't think of far reaching consequences. If it wasn't sent back, the bartender would continue to make them that way for everyone, which would make people not like to order them anymore, which in turn would cause them to lose money, either by customers not tipping as much (because of crappy drinks) or customers not coming back anymore. Maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but honestly, it's not such a stretch. I can think of a few times when I've either stopped going someplace because of one bad experience that probably didn't amount to anything more than just one employee's laziness or bad day or whatnot.

Bah, I've been rambling these past few paragraphs, haven't I? Well, I've got a lot on my mind lately. Should I stay in Calgary? I don't know. Should I stay in Canada? I don't want to anymore, and that I can say in all honesty. I don't like the way we live, and since I've seen how other societies live, I can see deficiencies that I don't want to live with anymore.

I know this entry isn't nearly as entertaining as some have been in the past, and for that, I apologize. I just needed to vent some frustrations.

Perhaps the summer will be better for me...

Saturday, November 29, 2008


OK, so yeah, it's been months since I updated. Really, I haven't been too happy. I've since come back to Canada and I'm pretty much over it. It's nice to see everyone again, but, honestly, I love Australia. I actually miss everything about it, and when I run into something in Canada that's different, I wonder why we don't do things like in Australia. Strange I know, but it's how I feel.

Anyhow, so much to catch up on, and I'm gonna be heading out soon, so I'll update in the next couple days. I am still alive folks!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Folks, I'm going on hiatus for a while. I'm moving out of my flat as my lease runs out next week, and back into a hostel. Things are going well, but I feel I have nothing of import to say in this blog lately, since I don't do anything but work, sleep and spend my money frivolously. I'll keep everyone posted through Facebook and rare phone calls.

Keep it real folks, I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get Yer Pope On!

So we here in Sydney are "enjoying" World Youth Day (that being somewhat of a misnomer because it's going on for a full week, starting today and lasting until next Monday). I say "enjoying" because it's a huge pain, since most of the streets in the CBD have closed and those who need to drive or take public transportation into the city are hugely inconvenienced. For those of you who don't know what WYD is (and I suspect that's a large portion of you), it's essentially a huge Catholic meeting with thousands gathering to pray, attend mass, and generally make life completely annoying for those of us who are not religious.

The Pope himself arrived on Friday on his own Pope-plane, with his Pope-mobile, and I can only assume Pope-butlers. Here's what I think is completely asinine. He's here to preach about helping fellow man, sheltering the poor, and all that wonderful stuff Catholicism espouses, but he's charging $150 a head to attend his mass on Thursday. Seriously, man, woman, child, monkey, whatever, you gotta pay $150 just to be in his presence at Randwick racetrack to listen to him preach pretty much the same stuff that Father Jimmy O'Toole preaches every Sunday at the nearest church. Is that not complete bullocks and against the whole "bring God to the masses" ideology? Of course, some people would say it's just like spending $150 to see your favourite rock band or what have you, but I don't know a lot of people that would travel halfway around the world just to see a band, and spend their last dollars on it.

For those of you who may not know (again, I suspect a fair number of you) I would identify myself as being athiest. Now, I'm not against religion itself, I just think that if you're supposed to be helping your fellow man, charging people a ridiculous amount is not really the best way to do it. It pretty much ensures that only the rich will be able to attend, or the poor will have to become even poorer just to hear the word of God. And I'm not alone in this. Seeing as I work in an Irish pub, and Ireland is, in general, a fairly religious country, I've had the opportunity to discuss this with people who do attend weekly mass, and who identify themselves as deeply religious, and they also think it's pretty crazy.

So to summarize: the Pope charges too much for sermons, Irish people love beer, and I'm likely going to this Hell place I've heard so much about.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Ha ha, well, not quite, but it's Christmas in July here in Sydney (and really, I think in all of New South Wales). The pub is decorated with heaps of tinsel and wreaths and such. In fact, I am, as I write this, wearing a Santa hat in an internet cafe on my break. I'm sure people are wondering what drugs I'm on (hint: it rhymes with back rogaine). But it's all fun, and people are really getting into it. In fact, on the 25-27, there's a Yulefest going on in Katoomba, a town about an hour outside of Sydney, right in the Blue Mountains, and I'm heading there with Ash, Shawna, and a few Irish lads that Ash knows. Should be a good time, and it's one of the only places in Australia that occasionally gets snow, so we're looking forward to checking it out.

Otherwise, it's getting damn frigid in these parts. It's getting down to about 10 degrees at night, but the winds pick up to around 90km/h, which just makes it that much worse (as all my Canadian reader knows). And you can't find parkas around here without having to pay through a painful orifice. Luckily I have a nice woolen beanie to keep me warm! Hee hee!

Otherwise, nothing new on this end. Still awaiting on residency, and trying to get some money together to go to Thailand before heading back to Canada if I have to. But that's all in the initial planning stages. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Well, it was a couple days ago, but the sentiment was there. There was a pretty big Canada Day celebration going on at one of the backpacker bars in Sydney (Scubar) and it was a lot of fun. They were supposed to play Canadian music, and I asked the DJ to play some good old Canadian tunes (Tragically Hip, Spirit of the West, Sam Roberts that sort of thing) and he said, "Oh, I don't have those, I've got Avril Livigne, Nelly Furtado and Nickelback though." Yeah, they were born in Canada, but I was thinking more of like stuff that you would really only hear in Canada. Sad state of affairs. Though I did get a chance to play the Hockey Night in Canada theme over the sound system, so that was great. And we also sang the national anthem literally about 20 times over the course of the night. How patriotic we were.

Oh! Shawna's back in Sydney now. After living up in Airlie Beach for the past year and a half, she finally escaped the clutches and decided to come visit me in Sydney. She's sleeping on our couch right now until she finds work and gets her own place (or we kick out one of the flatmates and she takes their place, Your days are numbered Francie!) So that was fun, me, Ash and Shawna tearing it up like old times. Brings a tear to me eyes.

In other news, I've got just over 3 months left on my visa here in Oz and I'm not looking forward to having to leave. I mean, it's going to be great to see everyone again, but I know I'm just going to miss Oz too much. The past 2 years of my life have been the most exciting and, well, meaningful I suppose, and I just don't want it to end. But I'm still applying for residency, so we'll see how that pans out.

Other than that, not much is happening. We're clipping along, saving a few dollars and trying to get a few more things crammed into my time here (Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, the Snowy Mountains, etc) so hopefully I'll have some good pics up soon.